Why is India’s ‘Regent’ PM angry?
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Of late, our soft-spoken Prime Minister has begun using harsh language—not about the enemies of the nation but about the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. And it's not just him, his leader too is doing that.
Sonia Gandhi does not like Dr Manmohan Singh being called a "weak" Prime Minister. At an election rally last week, she angrily declared that BJP leader L.K. Advani's description of Dr Singh as a "weak" PM amounts to showing disrespect to the nation. It is baffling how a critical assessment of Dr Singh's performance as PM can invite this grave charge. A few days later, Dr Singh himself termed Advani's criticism as "abusive". I wonder if Dr Singh really doesn't know the difference between criticism and abuse. Either he thinks any criticism of him is necessarily an insult or he has deliberately used a harsher word in the hope of winning public sympathy.
Both Advani's criticism of the PM and the latter's diatribe against Advani need to be dissected. Dr Singh's partymen and supporters may think he is a strong PM. They are entitled to their judgement, just as his critics are entitled to theirs. The only way this can be debated meaningfully is by foregrounding the debate against the PM's actual performance in the last five years. Take, for example, the most recent episode of the Congress Party having been shamed into withdrawing Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar as its candidates for the Lok Sabha polls in New Delhi. The PM says he was neither informed nor consulted in the matter of the CBI's clean chit to Tytler for his alleged involvement in the carnage of Sikhs in 1984. Mr Prime Minister, the CBI functions directly under you. Were you similarly kept in the dark when the CBI allowed Ottavio Quattrocchi to go scot-free with the Bofors booty?